Monday, December 31, 2012

Unexpected Visitor : A Valentine's Day Story

About six years ago now, in January, I decided that I wanted to do something special for the hubby on Valentine's day. 

He was always doing something sweet and romantic for me often ending with me drunk and passing out without giving him any. Probably not how he planned the evening going, after cooking me a delicious dinner, painting me a beautiful picture, taking me out somewhere I had always wanted to go, or otherwise doing something special. When he wants to, he does some romantic ass shit. Previously to being a married man, these sort of overtly romantic gestures I'm sure got him laid. 

So this one year, I planned something for him. 

I took the afternoon off, had bought all kinds of delicious appetizers, liquor and some sexy lingerie. I was prepared to make it a Valentine's he would not forget and that would NOT end with me passed out.

In those days I didn't have a drivers license so the hubby who started work at 5 am would go home in the early afternoon and then pick me up at 6 pm. Unbeknownst to him I got off work at  1 that afternoon and took city transit home so that I could do my make up (you know all smoky eyed and shit), my hair, get appetizers ready, pour the drinks and so that I could be stretched out on our couch in the sexy lingerie when he walked in the door. Like I said I was ready to make this a happy Valentine's for HIM.

Well things couldn't have gone better. He was completely unaware. I got home an hour before him. Popped appetizers in oven. Made myself look good. Set the coffee table with goodies. Got dressed up and stretched out on couch in my hottest heels. 

On schedule, the key turned in the lock, my heart beat quickly awaiting the hubby's surprised reaction. 

Well guess what? The party surprised, was me! The hubby had come home with a co-worker! 

The hubby got one look at me and his eyes got as big as a cartoon characters, I could see that he wasn't alone and he said, "you're home. I have So and So with me". I ran to our bedroom and about died of embarrassment!

Apparently the one that would not be forgetting this Valentine's day was me.

I can't remember how the whole evening ended. 

Did I pass out? Maybe. Probably. After that I may have decided to drink a lot. 

Maybe not, after all that, I may have wanted my own happy ending.

But what I will never forget, is the planning and how the afternoon ended up starting with an unexpected visitor. I have never planned another Valentine's Day. Being smooth and sexy, is not my thing. Doing embarrassing things that could be updated I Love Lucy episode, totally my thing!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

TT New Year, New Me

I swore shortly after I started this blog that I would NOT make it about weight.

OKAY. OKAY. I have mentioned my post baby fat ass several times. But I haven't lingered on all the negative self talk right? or the utter dismay I feel every morning when I get dressed.

I have battled with my weight ever since I hit puberty. Finally conquering my fat ass and body issues about 5 years ago. Sometime before I turned 30 I got down to business and got seriously fit. I ran a half marathon, had killer biceps and wasn't just  a "skinny bitch", but a healthy fit bitch! I worked out 1.5-2 hrs a day 6 days a week and I was super happy. I was so proud of myself and worked hard on focusing on becoming a strong woman instead of worrying about a number on the scale, the little number on the scale was just a happy byproduct of my hard work. That and Weight Watchers did wonders for me.

Even before Animal was a twinkle in my eye I fretted and worried about what would happen to my body after having a baby. During my pregnancy I didn't let my craziness mess with me... too much. I worked out all the way to the end but as I got further along I scaled it down accordingly.

After Animal was born I was so tiered and really down on myself for not being able to be one of those moms that's running a half marathon two months after they pop their babies out. How do these bitches do it? And why can't I be one of these cunts. Sorry it's just my bitterness talking. But I just couldn't. Motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but it is kicking my ass. And it's taking my body, energy and drive for a ride.

Animal is sleeping through the night and I have new running and fitness goals, plus new motivation. I want my son to have an active role model. I want to give him the opportunity to join me and have fitness be a part of his life. Cycling, walking/hiking, swimming none of those things ever feel like exercise to me, because we did those things regularly with my parents (I still do, my dad is my running partner) and that makes it so much easier to be active, I want Animal to have that. Even though I love to sit, drink and eat garbage, I don't want that to be how Animal remembers mommy.

My very good friend Nursing Student and I decided that it's time to get back to Weight Watchers. This Year coming up is the year I get myself and my body back. In a healthy way. I fucking LOVE weight watchers, I could literally go on and on about it's virtues, but I wont as I'm trying to gain readers not lose them.

Don't worry I'm not going to start posting weekly updates, or my daily food journals. Maybe if you all are interested I'll do monthly updates. Most likely I'll wait till I make it to my first 10 lbs dropped, the halfway mark and when I hit lifetime again.

New year, New me!

This post is part of the SUPER AWESOME Theme Thursday collaboration, to read what other blogs have planned for the new year or to link your own (cuz I know you totally want to) hit the TT button

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Date Night: Unchained

 Before we had Animal, the Hubby and I spent a lot of time together. We had many many date nights.  As any parent can attest, no matter what promises were made, how many wholehearted agreements had, to keep romance and date nights a part of your new families life, it is much easier said than done. 

Between the exhaustion, the frustration, the new found parental responsibilities and financial restraints date nights (and your "US") easily fall through the cracks. 

Christmas day the hubby and I had hoped to go see a movie and have a little "us" time.

One of the things that we have always had in common, is our love of movies, a film nerd the hubby likes to call himself. We love so many genres, including  foreign, Indy and heavy documentaries.

Pre baby we were known to see as many as 3 movies in theaters on a single day. We hosted themed movie nights, when we watched 3 O'clock High, we served a "hot" lunch dinner, including chocolate milk cartons and apple juice. When we showed There Will Be Blood, we served whiskey, and milk shakes. On my girls only movie day, we watched  Gone With The Wind and had southern food. 

Our go to sitter is my mom. I hate to ask her to watch Animal any time it's not for work. She already watches him almost 50 hrs a week. Our son is a handful and before we had him we agreed that the only people we BOTH felt comfortable watching him until he could speak (yeah we got trust issues up in this bitch) was my mom, and my nieces parents. We have spent so much of my nieces life with her and her parents and know that our parenting styles are so similar. My niece (who we lovingly call The Baby as she was our first) is an awesome kid, if Animal turns out like her we would be lucky.

My mom as it turns out headed to Mexico with my dad so they could visit their moms over the rest of the holidays. So it seemed that our dream of a movie night was over before it got of the ground. 

Christmas day as we watched our kids open there gifts the hubby commented to the Tall Guy about our date night hopes being dashed and he said, "What if I come back after bedtime? You guys could go, and I'll stay here". 

To any parent this is like finding a glass of water after being stranded in a desert. We gladly accepted.

As promised he came back just before I walked out my son's room. Even though Animal hasn't cried in weeks, even when I've left him awake in his room. He cried this night. We NEVER go back in. He always stops and goes to sleep. But it felt horrible. The hubby was ready to call it quits, but the Tall Guy said "Kids always know. It's OK, Go."  So we left, and headed for the theaters, feeling guilty but determined to have a little break. 

When we got to the theater the movie was sold out. We drove across town to get to a show that started in an hour, just as we arrived it sold out. We text the Tall Guy that the only show we could catch started at 10, was he OK with that? He gave us the go ahead and so we did. Just before 8, we bought our tickets for 10.

We ate dinner, and talked. Stood in line and talked. Sat in a theater waiting for trailers and talked. It was wonderful. 

The Movie Review: Django: Unchained; A Quentin Tarantino film takes place two years before the civil war. Django Unchained is a remake of an older western, I have to admit this is one of my least favorite genres, but some are good and this one is by far my favorite. It is a graphic movie, and the R rating as in all of Tarantino's movies is well deserved. There were some scenes that were terribly hard to watch, but you know what? A lot of shit that went on in those days that rightly turn our stomachs now were common place then, so I don't think it was too much. It only added to the authenticity of the story. The dialogue as usual was wonderful, often funny and poignant. It was also a love story. The acting by the three male leads and Samuel Jackson was superb. If you can wrangle yourself a sitter I say it's a must see.

Thank you Tall Guy, and sorry that it turned into such long night. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Three Wishes Cabernet an Amateur Review

Here it is ladies (and gentlemen?), I found the Cabernet Sauvignon. As you can see by the photo, I like to fill my glass and I have had more than one glass.

These wines come in an ECO friendly bottle that leave a smaller footprint, so that you can feel a little less guilty about partaking in the sauce! "But Honey, look, It cost two bucks and is better for the environment, I may as well get the case". 

This full bodied(for lack of a better words) wine tastes of berries, black currant and has a gentle whiff of alcohol (can that odor be gentle?). Well it'll get you drunk and that's what we're here for most nights. Not as good as two buck chuck, but come on, that isn't good either. It works on the cheap and it isn't gross.   Obviously I have high standards here folks. Stick with me, and we'll both be looking for a designated driver! 

Next week: climbing the cost ladder I'll be reviewing Absolut Sparkling Fusion Tune (It's Absolut's new sparkling wine, I know, I know very exciting, because the only thing my wine is missing is Vodka!)

Cheers to you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TT Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2

Reality TV. I've been hooked since The Real World. 

I wont watch just anything, though the hubby would disagree. 

I wont watch any of the bachelor shows or any of the talent shows. Also none of the "celebrity" shows. No spin offs of Housewives. No Red necks, little people, sister wives, toddlers in tiaras, cop shows, security shows, no swans, no bidding on storage units, drunk girls fighting, jersey shore drunks or families with more than one digit number of children. 

Now I know that knocks so many reality shows out. I wish I could say I didn't watch any, because frankly I'm embarrassed at the long list of shows I do watch. Not just watch, but love to watch. They are my guilty pleasures. I watch these shows, DVR them, watch marathons, I don't BUY tabloids but I do check out the stories if it has to do with one of the girls/couples on one of the shows I watch. I get involved emotionally. A few examples, I was honestly sad when Nick and Jessica got divorced. I Googled about Khloe and Lamar Odom divorce rumors, and yelled at the screen recently when Janelle told her lawyer she wanted to go to a Kesha concert instead of taking the 14 days of jail time her PO offered after she failed a drug test.

Here is a list with all the names I could remember, sadly there are more shows whose names I can't recall.

The Real World
Road Rules
Real World Road Rule Challenge (note I stopped watching all of these shows about 8 years ago)
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Hogan Knows Best
What Not To Wear
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Kourtney and Kim Take New York
Khloe and Lamar 
16 and Pregnant
Clean House 
Restaurant Impossible
Cupcake Wars
LA Ink
Top Chef
Teen Mom
Teen Mom 2
Wife Swap (only first season)
American Chopper
Monster House
Monster Garage
Nanny 911
Super Nanny
Average Joe
The Biggest Looser
Flavor of Love ( I know both a dating show and celebrity)
The Osbournes 

So there you have it. Reality TV, I hate to love it. Especially Teen Mom, The Real Housewives of the OC and all things Kardashian. When ever the hubby catches me watching them he says "my respect for  your judgement just dropped from here to here" signaling from over his head to as low as his hand will go without bending over. 

I don't usually discuss openly my love of these shows. Except Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2, I talk about those often. Especially in my posts. I love that show so much that I want to do a weekly post after the show airs Monday night. 

But I don't want to trash any of the girls because they are SO young. What if I was a baby myself when I became a mom? What stupid things would I do? What dumb ex would be my baby daddy? What drama would my little one have to endure? I also don't want to forgive all the dumb shit they do just because they are young. My best friend was 19 when her daughter was born. Life was so hard for them. My bestie had to drop out of college, after she worked so hard to get there. She had to work, raise her daughter on her own and go to school to reach her dream of being a nurse. Even though she was young, and it was hard, she did it. Her daughter is a wonderful young lady and she was an amazing role model. 

What's my point? These girls can do it too. I'm rooting for them. 

The housewives of the OC are a train wreck and I love to watch. It seems the other "ladies" are bigger train wrecks at least according to the soup, but I refuse to watch any more housewives.

And the Kardashians? I know it's lame, but at least they are hard working women. All the women in that family are smart and hard working. Plus crazy and explosive. It's just fun to watch. 

I can't believe I shared my ridiculous love of these ridiculous shows. But there you have it folks, judge away if you can stay away from this grovel. Judging from the amount and variety of "Reality" TV, I feel safe believing you wont be judging me.   


I'm sure you have a bevy of personal favorites, to hear what others love, hate or love to hate click on the THEME THURSDAY button.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Three Wishes Merlot An Amateur Review

Well I promised you a review earlier today when I saw that Whole Foods was selling a bottle wine (Three Wishes) for 1.99, a case for 23.99! What!?! I know, alcoholics rejoice!

 I believe they would like some of that 2 buck chuck action, and who could blame them? Two Buck Chuck aka Charles Shaw has several varitals, while the new Three Wishes is available in 3, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. I don't usually drink Merlot, but they were out of Cabernet and I HATE Chardonnay. I'm gonna do my best to review it anyway.

First, I'll say this, sadly it is NOT Cabernet. So I'm already disappointed. It's mildly flavored, smooth, with red currant and earth flavors (read a little acidic, for lack of a better word). Did I already say that it is not Cabernet?

I wont buy the Merlot again, but it wasn't terrible. If you like Merlot, you might like this? I don't really know.

I don't really know how to end this. Sometimes you get what you pay for. I'm not drunk or feeling happy so this bottle was a fail. But it was win for the pocket book.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finding The Right Preschool Part 2 The Tour

Once you get past finding possible schools that will meet all of, or most of, your families needs, you will be ready for the tour.

When vetting possible schools, here are some important things to look for:

1. A reasonably clean environment. Obviously in a school filled with small children you are not going to find a place you can run a white glove over. Nevertheless, the cleaner the better. You want to see kids washing their hands or at least know it's a part of the schedule. Nothing prevents illness like hand washing.

2. Do the children look happy? Are they interacting with each other? How about with the staff? Keep your ears open. 

3. Ask about discipline policies. You want to know how problem situations will be handled. What will they do if your child is bitten? If your child bites someone else? 

You want the schools policies to align with your own as much as possible. If you are a strong disciplinary and this school doesn't even have time out, this will inevitably be a problem for you. If on the other hand, you don't believe in ever saying no to your child and ALWAYS give them choices a school that is very structured or that gives a time out with one, or no warnings is going to be very difficult for your child and by extension you when your child cries and fights you all the way to the classroom door, the director is calling you and the teacher always has something negative to say when you pick your child up.

4. What's the staff turn over rate. Now just so you know ECE is not a well paid filed and is often a high stress job. The average pre-k teacher stays in the field 3 years, at least that was the statistic a few years ago. So as long as the whole staff isn't new and at least half of the staff has been there 2 or 3 years, it's probably OK that the other half just started. 

If the staff is all new, there may be a problem with the management/owner/ corporate. Good schools retain there staff. 

5. Come with a list of questions prepared. Ask about anything that matters to you, or that pops in your head as the director walks you through the school.

Also important is to get the licensing number of school. In California this number allows you to get information from county licensing department. This will let's you find out if any complaints have been filed against any staff member, or if any infractions have been made. Some are small like parents didn't sign children into school. Some are not, like toilets weren't working properly. 

If the they are reluctant to give you number, I would consider this a red flag. Check to see what regulations there are in your state. California is often thought of as a tree hugging hippie state, but we have some tough laws and a lot of regulations. I don't know that all states have regulatory bodies that check the schools out on any sort of regular basis, I'm assuming here folks. Don't let me make an ass out of you. I'm thinking of Florida mostly, they're crazy there. 

At the end of the tour you should receive a parent handbook as well as paperwork for enrolling your child and a deadline (usually a week) to decide if this is the school for your child. READ the handbook, if you have any questions after that call and ask. If this school does meet all or most of your needs, checked out with licensing then you are ready to enroll.

I hope you found this helpful. If you feel like I left something out or you have any more questions. Please leave a comment and I will answer. Good Luck!

I Could Never Live In a Home That Was...

I read Bloggy Moms Blog Dare, they have daily writing prompts and this one just jumped out at me. So I had to jump in for today's topic.

I could never live in a home that was...closed minded and you could only be one way.

I grew up in, and have created with my spouse, a home where you are free to share your opinions and are encouraged to THINK. Argue even. I can't imagine I could ever survive in a home where everyone had the same views about EVERYTHING. Where's the fun in that?

My favorite love song EVER, is "Someone" by Depeche Mode:

"She'll hear me out
And wont easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me"

That's all I ever wanted.

I could never live in a home that was lacking in people who thought for themselves.

I hope that by creating a place where you are free to express your thoughts, possibly have them challenged, but not made to feel misunderstood. In a few years we'll have lively discussions at the dinner table about politics, current events, family problems and how to solve them. I can't imagine a happier home than that.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TT A Wedding Story

The hubby and I were just babies when we decided to get hitched. We were 23, and had been living together for a few months. It just seemed to make sense, that since we had managed not to kill each other, we should get married.

We went down to city hall to get a license and make an appointment for the BIG day on a Tuesday afternoon. They gave us an appointment for Thursday afternoon, they told us it would take about 20 minutes, we needed 2 witnesses and could have 10 guests.

Yup, it's that simple folks. Who cares that we were too young to make that sort of life altering decision. We had the 70 bucks it cost, so apparently that signals to big brother that we must completely understand what we are doing.

We went out that night to the only place two young adults working part time jobs could afford to shop, Wal-Mart. Our wedding bands were the only two bands that matched in the jewelry department. We tried them on and they fit perfectly. I took it as a sign that this wedding was meant to be.

We told our families, they were both supportive? Or figured we were adults (which we were) and could make our own decisions. I called all the people I knew that I didn't want to run into later and be all, "oh yeah, by the way I got married yesterday/last week/last month/last year" as the case may be. Just because I wasn't inviting anyone didn't mean that I didn't want to share impending nuptials. I was most definitely happy, and SO in love.

I remember when I told my boss that I would like the day off because I was getting married, she said she could only let me off an hour early because she thought I had lost my mind it happened to be graduation day. So it was that on the day I got married I worked most of my shift before going home and getting ready with my betrothed.

We met our families in the lobby of City Hall. My little sister made me a bouquet. We were excited, nervous and completely naive to what we were willing choosing to do.

The Justice of the peace looked younger than us.

My soon to be hubby giggled and teared up. I tried to make sure I repeated everything without choking up, and in a audible voice.

I remember hearing the justice of the peace say, "It's not about finding the right partner, it's about BEING the right partner". I loved that. I remember that everyday. I'm not even going to pretend that I actively try to BE the right partner, because I totally don't. But I don't look at my spouse and blame HIM for not being the partner that only exist in movies, sitcoms and fantasies. Instead when things are not going well I look at what I am doing, or more likely NOT doing and accept my share of the blame.

After the ceremony, we had a late lunch with the family. Then we went to Safeway and bought an ice cream cake so we could share a slice and save some for our first anniversary. We also bought some liquor and watched a movie followed by our first married nookie.

I would never advise anyone to get married before the age of 30, I'm pretty sure that the hubby would never advise any one to get married ever. But I know that we would never want to be without each other. BEST worst decision ever!

This post is part of a multi-blog collaboration. To hear about others better planned weddings or add your own story click the button above.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How To Find The Right Preschool part 1

Often people will ask me how to go about finding a "good" preschool. I give them the tips that my many years in the field have taught me make for a good preschool experience. I want every family to have a wonderful preschool experience so I would like to share them with you too.

Animal is a year old, so right now I would be putting him on several wait lists in hopes of getting into my first choice when he turns two. Two, I believe is the perfect age for most children to begin their preschool years. At two, children do a lot of growing and learning. Choosing a good program allows you to capitalize on this time.

Putting your child on wait list, well before you need care, will give you the amount of time needed, to choose the right place for your child and your family. If you will be returning to work soon after the birth of your child, then you would be doing this while pregnant.

Doing your homework.

1. Google, yelp, but most importantly, ask around. Ask friends, family, and neighbors. If they really like the school their child attends, then ask them what they like about the preschool and what they don't. Do they love the staff? Is it clean? Ask about anything that really matters TO YOU. If it's really important that the school be nut free vs. nut sensitive ask about that. 

If you hear the same name over and over that's a good sign, but not a guarantee that it will be the right fit for you. Remember that every family is unique and just because your best friend loves a place doesn't mean you will.

2. Be honest with yourself. I know that can be really hard, but it will be even harder for you and/or your child if you lie about what matters to you. If you are not honest about what you want in a preschool. What you can afford. What hours you need. What you want your child to gain from this experience. Then you could be faced with having to remove your child from a place and people they love. 

If you really need a break, to save your sanity, to clean the house, to further your education or you have a job then don't choose a co-op where you will have to put in hours of work time.

If you are an atheist, don't choose a non denominational christian school.

If you are on a tight income don't choose a school that offers a lot of extras for a nominal charge.

If you don't want your kids watching TV, don't choose a school that shows videos on a daily basis.

If your child cannot sit still, has no attention span and NEEDS to talk, don't choose a Montessori.

If you really want your child to have structure and you expect them to leave preschool reading, don't choose a play based school.

If you take the time to think about what you want, what best suits your family and your child, you will set your child up for success. Once you have thought about these things and researched what schools are possible you are ready for the tour. 

If you found this post helpful, then stay tuned for Part 2 The Tour 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Parenting Fail #58

Why number 58? I'm being generous with myself and estimating one parenting fail per week since the birth of my son.

Now is the following really a parenting fail? No. I honestly KNOW it isn't, but it FEELS like it is, and it is driving me bat shit crazy. Animal is 13.5 months, and he only says two words. Of those two words he only uses one correctly.

He says Mom, but not TO me, just "mom-mom-mom-mom" as he cries waiting to be picked up in the morning or randomly throughout the day. No, the word he uses in the correct context, is "No".

So my son can only say one word. The word he uses apparently reflects the fact that we don't let him do anything (because we have done little to no baby proofing besides putting outlet covers in all the outlets). 

I work with 2 year olds and have done so for many, MANY years. If a mom came into my class and was concerned in September that their child only said no, but had no apparent hearing problem, understood what was being said and babbled I would reassure them that in a matter of weeks or months of preschool their child would be speaking. Kids always catch up, always. Even if there IS a language/development problem they will attain some language skills just by being in a class with their peers and being exposed to age appropriate curriculum. I KNOW this to be true and it happens EVERY YEAR in my class with at least one child. 

Animal is only 13 months, he is growing up in a bilingual home and studies show that children exposed to more than one language speak later than their peers. It doesn't make me feel better. We all talk to him, all day long, everyday. I sing to him. My mom and hubby play all kinds of music for him. We narrate the day. Point things out and name them. I read to him. We all ask him to repeat or imitate us. The hubby and I imitate the sounds he makes. He doesn't try to copy the sounds we make. I have been doing baby sign with him since he was 5 months old. He has never signed back. 

I KNOW children develop at their own rate and Animal as strong as he is, as alert and curious as he has been since the moment he came into this world, has taken his time with everything. Not necessarily slow, but never really ahead. Except at holding his head up, he was able to that always (of course not for long at first) everything has more or less been right  in the middle to just before the "don't worry if your kids not doing it yet, some kids take longer" deadline. 

I have taken them all as parenting fails. 

The weird part is KNOWING what I, an early childhood educator, would say to a mom in this situation. 

The strange thing is knowing from real life experience and the many, many children who have been under my care, that all indicators say everything is fine. 

Animal understands the instructions we give, whether they are in English or Spanish. He makes new sounds when he babbles, all the time. There is infliction in his babbling to us. He is so verbal, it's just we don't know what he's saying. 

He never signs back, but if he's being fussy after a meal and I sign "more", he stops being fussy and smiles or opens his mouth waiting for the food. 

If he's mad because I'm changing his diaper and I sign "all done" he puts his hands up waiting for mine so he can pull himself up.

The parenting fail here isn't that Animal doesn't have more words yet. It's that I can't get past my own wants and desires for him (to often lately) to just enjoy the toddler he is right now. - Say

Thursday, December 6, 2012

TT Traditions

With Christmas around the corner, decorations everywhere, holiday music playing at the local Starbucks, and desserts popping up every where you look, you must have guessed a holiday post was eminent.

This week's topic: What do you love/hate about Christmas? I happen to LOVE Christmas, it's my favorite holiday. Here's a short? list of everything I love about it.

  • Friends and Family
  • Drinking
  • Baking/eating baked treats
  • Christmas trees
  • Christmas movies, like Scrooged, A Christmas Story, A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's A Wonderful Life
  • Shopping with the people I love in mind or not, some years we haven't exchanged gifts.
  • Time off from work
  • People *trying* to be nice
  • Christmas decorations
  • Reconnecting with friends
What I love best though, are traditions. Not just mine and my families, but every one's. I love that everyone has traditions. 

I love the nostalgia I get when my mom puts up the manger. 

I love decorating our tree, with only ornaments that are special. One for each year we have been together, one for each of our kitties, hand made and store bought ones from friends and students, one, now two for each of my sons Christmas's, one that's just the hubby's (it's a special BEARS one) and one that's just mine (a cocktail glass). As I take them out of the box I can remember the years, and all the special people in our lives. It's never going to make a picture perfect tree but it will always be unique to us.

I love knowing that in early December the hubby and I will be taking our niece and now my son to see Christmas lights at the county park. 

The holiday dinner I'll share with my co-workers, I especially love the drink we'll share and the laughs we'll have not having to sensor our conversation. 

I love knowing Christmas eve I'll spend the day at my mom's house preparing tamales, with her, my dad and siblings. Maybe an aunt or cousin will stop by and we'll laugh and talk and enjoy each other. I love eating those tamales and savoring the hard work and good times we shared on that day and all the years that have already been.

I love opening a gift just the hubby and I at midnight on Christmas eve. I love Christmas morning just the two of us, our cats and our son. I love knowing that we will do this every year and that as time goes on and Animal grows up, we will add new traditions that our just ours. 

I grew up in a Santa free home and so will Animal. I know some people think that takes away from the fun, but I think it opens you up to the real spirit of Christmas. I'm excited to teach my son that, if not year round, this is a time to give of yourself.

NOW, just so you know even though Christmas is my favorite holiday that doesn't mean I don't hate things about it. Here's a short list of things I hate:

  • Commercialism (I know, I know this holiday is saturated and deep fried in the shit)
  • Christmas decorations in October, before Halloween. (WTF!)
  • Not having enough time, or money to bake everything I want.
  • Not having enough money to donate to everything I want to. Or for my family, and people I appreciate.

That's basically it. What can I say, "It's the most wonderful time of the year".

This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration to view what other bloggers love/hate about Christmas click the Theme Thursday button.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It Finally Happened!

Since about 10 months old, Animal has loved to take down as many DVDs off their shelf walk around the house with them and leave them EVERYWHERE.

If was kinda of cute at first because it delighted him so. He would just stare with a special gleam in his eyes at all the mess he had created. We would squeal with such joy at his piles of movies. 

I would tell him, "No Animal, these movies belong on the shelf. Please make a mess with your own toys. These toys belong to mom and dad". It was all in vain. Animal only loves to play with what is not meant for little baby hands. 

We would pick up the DVDs and put them back on the shelf several times a day. Everyday. 

I kept getting emails from baby center that said that my baby would love to take things down and put them back. Empty his toy box and then fill it again. Take nesting toys out and then put them back together. All Animal wanted to do was pull things down, empty boxes, cabinets, drawers, baskets, but never, ever put anything back.

I've been wondering for months when he would finally start to put things back. Yesterday as I stared at all of Animals mess around the living room. I was about to clean it up and put him down for his afternoon nap, when I said "Animal pick up the DVDs and put them back please", to my surprise he bent over and picked them up. I got so excited, and said, "Now put them on the shelf, here". He smiled at me and then walked away. I repeated myself and tapped the spot on the shelf where the DVDs belong. He dropped the movies and smiled. I asked him again to pick them up and put them away, again tapping where they belong. He picked them up again and walked back to the shelf. I about burst from happiness. Then he dropped them again right in front of where they belong. I didn't give up. 

I asked him again, he just looked and me and started to walk away. I picked him up and brought him back to the DVDs and asked again. He walked away again. I picked him up and brought him back to the DVDs and asked again, but added he needed to do this before he could do something else. (This is the method I use in my classroom) Just like the headstrong two year olds in my class, he continued to walk away. I continued to bring him back to the DVDs and each time would ask him again to pick up his DVDs and put them back on the shelf. He cried for a couple of minutes, frustrated that he couldn't go about his business. Then he stopped. Picked up the DVDs and put them neatly on the shelf. One on top of the other like he'd been doing it for months. 

I was so excited I clapped and said YAY!

I asked him to pick up his toys and put them back in his toy box, and he did!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness 4th edition

The awesome blogger at The Insomniacs Dream had a terrific idea of coming up with something new everyday this month that you are grateful for and then posting daily. I decided to keep on ongoing journal and post each Friday. But I goofed last Friday so I'm making some changes to my intro (which your reading right now) and will post this finally edition with two weeks worth instead of one.


I'm so grateful to my friend, Nursing Student, who despite my unavailablity has stayed a trusted and true friend. She invited me to The Red Tent and we got a chance to share how grateful we are for each other to each other. It was wonderful.


I'm grateful for a family day. I love my little family. Even when we're getting on each others nerves I'm grateful to spend as much time as possible with them.


I am oh so grateful for a short week. Only 3 work days this week! Yay!


Today I am thankful for co workers I like. I've been at my company along time. Staff has come and gone.
Right now I work with genuinely nice people. It's nice to get along with everyone, and especially not to avoid anyone.


A super productive lunch break! I can't believe how much shit I got done. I was really worried because I couldn't take half the day off from work this year like I usually do. The hubby takes care of almost all the Thanksgiving day cooking. But I have two things I make for the big day. I make cheesecake and cranberry sauce. Both recipes are amazingly easy but really really tasty. But I take half a day off so that I can run to the grocery store for any last minute things we forgot, to make said dishes and to clean up the kitchen and living room. So that tomorrow morning I can kick back while my wonderful husbands slaves away in the kitchen. My job on Thanksgiving is to keep the guests drinks coming and to help the hubby clean up after they've gone home. This year unable to do that I wondered how tonight would go, but cheesecakes are done. Grocery store trips handled and all in an hour. I'm thrilled.


I'm grateful today for family. For my small family and for my extended family. My hubby, my son, my parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and friends who have become family over the years.


Today I am thankful for honest people. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to drop my phone at Wal-Mart. My phone, my right hand, gone. My hubby called, someone kept hanging it up. I was sure it was gone,  I would have to shell out the cash for a replacement (luckily it's insured so it wouldn't cost me the full amount, but still it's not free and) I would be phoneless for a few days. Me, without a phone. It's ridiculously sad that I've become this way, but I would have been so sad. If not for this honest individual who returned my phone and my hubby who went and figured out this mess while I put our son to bed.


Today I am thankful for squeeze packs of baby/toddler food. I left the house without feeding our son lunch. He got crabby and fussy, like any hungry person. But these healthy squeeze packs saved the day. A healthy lunch so I don't have to feel like a shitty parent, and Animal loves to squeeze and feed himself. Win Win.


Today I am thankful that I finally learned how to share my own blog on twitter and Facebook. Before now I would copy and paste my link on to tweets and I hate Facebook so I wouldn't even bother trying to figure that out. But today I finally figured it our. I feel really dumb cuz it's so easy. But at least I finally got it. Yes, she can be taught folks. Anyway, I'm excited to learn even more.


Today I am thankful for my mom. She was and is an amazing mom. I never really appreciated her until I moved out. She is a wonderful person, she loves me, and she is my friend now. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have her. She still helps me so much and everyday when I have to go to work and be away from my little man, I am so fortunate that she is willing to take care of my son for me. Every day I get to have peace of mind knowing that my son is in the best hands possible. Thanks mom!


Today I am so thankful that it's Wednesday, have the week is over soon I'll be spending the weekend with my family.


Today I am thankful for time. Time that is just for the hubby and I. To rehash the day. To argue. To watch tv together. To not spend together sometimes. To write, tweet, check email and just be with my thoughts. Time you are special.

11/30/12 *

Today I am thankful that the gratitude challenge is over. I think about things I'm grateful for honestly like several times a day. But to find the time to write them down and make them different? This was way harder than I expected. Last week I was so busy with the family I didn't get a chance to post and planned to just get it done by this Friday. But Friday I started watching this season of Dexter and started drinking and before I knew it the day was over. Then yesterday we had a packed day and by the time I put Animal down for the night I didn't want to be on the computer. And now that I can hear Animal just woke up for morning nap as I get these last words in. I'm grateful the challenge is over and I can get on with my day. 2 day late. Sorry


Thursday, November 29, 2012

TT Mouthfulls

This weeks Theme Thursday topic, is weird, sweet, silly or gross, depending on your personal experience. It's very likely been all of those things. Ready? 

"Things I've Had in My Mouth Since Becoming a Parent." 

Let me begin by saying, I have had lots of wonderful things in my mouth since becoming a mommy. Like chubby little baby arms. Soft little fingers. Meaty legs. Perfect little feet. And tiny toes.

Even though I had a bouncy baby boy, I have been very fortunate to date. Nothing as disgusting as poop or pee pee. Lucky me, I know. BUT my son has already managed to get snot all over his fingers and into my mouth. So there's that.

He loves to put his hands into my mouth his sharp little razors nails have left the inside of my mouth full of little knicks.  I don't know why, except for the occasional sweep to take something he's managed to find on the floor out of HIS mouth. We, DO NOT put our fingers in his mouth. Come to think of it, who knows what disgusting germs, dust, dirt, or other have been on those grubby little mitts of his that have ended up in my mouth.

Also breast milk. I had never tasted, never wanted to, and was not at all curious about it. Until I had a little baby. Anyway I spilled some on my hand one day when I was taking the pumping equipment off and I got a little curious, I had read it was sweet. It was. Kind of reminded me of an Horchata, in case you wondered. It also squirted in my eye once. OUCH.

The grossest thing though, was around the time the baby was 2 months old. I had finished feeding him and was trying to burp him. I moved him off my shoulder and held him up in front of me.

"Animal, do you have any burps in there?" I said.

He smiled so sweetly, and then spit up all over me. In my hair, face, mouth and chest. I was shocked. Screamed the hubby came running. First he laughed, then he grabbed my a burp cloth and took the baby so I could clean myself up. YUCK. 

There you have it. The sweet, weird, silly and gross. 

This post is a part of Theme Thursday, a multi-blog collaboration. Click the button below to read posts from other bloggers, or to add your own

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PSA: Bargain Shopping No-No

Sample Offenders
As a preschool teacher of a two year old class for 15 years, I have used almost every brand of diaper. So I'm going to fill you in on a little nugget of information.

Off brand diapers aren't worth the pennies (couple of bucks) you are saving.

Unless you, and only you change your child's diaper each and every time. Or your family is going through a real economic hardship were EVERY penny really matters. There is no reason to inflict these disasters of poorly constructed, aren't fooling anyone, "diapers", on any person.

These ill fitting, thinner than paper "diapers" (and I'm looking at you Target) will NOT hold in a messy number 2, sometimes they wont even keep in urine.

Moms on a budget, I feel your pain. The hubby and I are working stiffs and believe me I hate to shell out the 21 something dollars per pack, per week, per month. I don't even let myself do the math anymore. I have had to let go of a lot of luxuries, like pants that fit, so that I can buy Huggies Pure and Natural, every time.

My experience has taught me some things about skimping on important basics like a good diaper. If you do not heed my advice you can be sure of a few things...

1. There WILL be shit (everywhere).

2. There will be even MORE laundry.

3. Other people who are forced to change your child's diaper WILL resent/judge your spending choices.

4. Switching to off brand for potty training, will yield the same disgusting results. Sorry you gotta continue to pony up the big bucks till your little pooper is done.

There is a silver lining. Costco. Kirkland brand diapers, come in bulk, are cheaper and high quality.

Your Welcome.

Update: Now that Animal is a toddler we finally made the jump to Kirkland brand diapers. This is a very exciting development because I can buy his diapers in those amazing bulk packs that come with those even more amazing bulk prices!

This could not have come at a better time, Huggies decided to start packaging their Pure and Natural brand diapers in cardboard boxes and hiking the price up five bucks a pop, we were down to 3 boxes a month (instead of weekly) but still that's SEVENTY FIVE dollars a month! Versus my new price of 38.99 for the giant box at Costco, that last for a whole month! Thank you Costco, the membership truly pays itself in diaper savings, not to mention they have a coupon like every other booklet, saving me an additional six dollars every other month.

 This post was brought to you by the letter 'S'. Also this was an old post re-edited and updated. I'm multitasking like a Mo Fo. Thanks for coming by :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

TT Bad Trip

This week's theme is Disaster Vacation. 

Problem. We haven't planned or gone on a vacation since Animal has been born. The vacations the Hubby and I have had, have been lovely with few bumps in the road. 

Check out what kinds of mayhem other bloggers have encountered on their less than perfect getaways by clicking the link below: 

Just kidding...

I did have a few less than ideal vacations, before baby I could write about... but instead I've decided to take a little carte blanche with this theme, and go from worst vacation disaster, to worst trip disaster. Also I'm going to take a little liberty with the word trip to include anytime I've left the house with Animal.

My worst disaster happened the day after I brought my son home from the hospital. He was 3 days old and I was not only recovering from the most amazing/painful event of my life but I was running on fumes.

While I was having some soup my mom had made me, my phone rang. 

It was the pediatrician's office calling. They said we had to come in NOW. I was too tiered to understand the urgency apparently because I asked what time we should be there and she said, "right now." I told my mom and we packed the baby up in his car seat and headed out the door.

When we got there it was about 3ish, they took us to the baby waiting room and told me to strip my son so that he could be weighed. I had him in his tiny newborn diaper when the nurse came in and she told me to remove that as well. I then realized that, on this our first trip out of our home, I had not brought a diaper bag. I had no diapers, or wipes. No extra clothes. And because he was naked, he was now cold and had wet his one and only diaper. I told the nurse what had happened and she thought I was a complete moron went to see if they had any samples I could have.

While she was gone. My mom was like WTF? Really you forgot the diaper bag? 

I was super lame and mumbled something about never having had a baby before and being too sleepy to remember. She was sympathetic and said I'm sorry I thought you had stuff in the car. YOU ALWAYS KEEP EXTRA DIAPERS IN THE CAR. Well thanks mom, that would have been great advice before we drove anywhere.

So the nurse comes back with a gigantic diaper for a five year old or something. We weigh the baby. He's an even 6 lbs now. I can't believe how tiny my son is.

They take us to an examination room to wait for the doctor. Animal is wrapped in a receiving blanket because We've been asked to keep him naked for the doctor. He pees in his blanket and on my moms lap. I don't have another receiving blanket on me so my mom wraps him in her hoodie. 

We see the doctors P.A., she explains that they have received the culture they took of one of his eyes and he needs an antibiotic ointment. We have to pick up it now and we also have to get lab work done, right now (it's Friday afternoon so no labs will be open the following day). 

The baby poops on my moms leg. Grandma is loving me right now. She happens to live super close and we have a lot of baby supplies at her house so we stop there before heading to the hospital lab where they have sent us. Which BTW 3 minutes from my moms house. 

We can't find parking and when we do the lab door is locked. 5 minutes early. I call the doctors office, they call the lab. We can see the lab person on the phone with my doctors office. They refuse to see us. My doctors office sends us to another lab up the street. It's not covered by our insurance, but the doctors office says don't worry we'll have a confirmation number faxed to them before you get there, it's an emergency.

Up until this point, no one had used those words. And at that moment my heart sank and I was filled with this urgency I had never in my life felt.

We get to lab. And they draw 4 tubes of blood. 4 tubes from my tiny six pound baby. I cry like a baby. My son is super baby and only let's out one loud cry. My heart is shattering.

We go to pharmacy to pick up prescription. I drop my mom off. The hubby is home from work and waiting for us and I tell him everything. 

As we sit and try to eat dinner, our son sleeping in his car seat. My phone rings again, it's his doctor. The lab wont have the results fast enough she says. She tells me to drop everything and take my baby to NICU where Dr. So and So will be waiting for us.

We feel like we've been punched in the stomach. All the air sucked out of us.

We get to the NICU where the doctor asks us a lot of questions and tells us the blood work will all be repeated, and their lab will have results by the next morning. They want to make sure he doesn't have a blood infection that could lead to meningitis. It so hard to listen. I catch that he thinks the baby is fine and he sees no reason we wont go home tomorrow. I'm an optimistic kind of person. My husband is a pessimist. He hears that his son could die of meningitis. 

We ask if we can spend the night because I'm breastfeeding. He says yes. We stay in a room in that wing. I read and sign A LOT of paperwork. I'm so grateful for it. I can't think. I pray, I cry, I try to sleep. I feed my son every few hours. Sometime in the wee hours of the mourning just as the nurse was finishing her shift, she tells me the results are back. They are negative. She says "I think you'll go home later. That was the worst case scenario."

Sometime I may write all about this night. 

But for today, I'll fast forward to the morning. When the sucky nurse told me "The doctor will get to your baby when she can. There are some really sick babies here."

 What a bitch! I understood, but what was my baby doing there if he wasn't sick? I started to cry and said,"I understand it's just I don't actually know my son is ok, the doctor hasn't talked to me yet and last night the doctor said he didn't see why my son wouldn't be released today. And I just want to know if my son really is ok and I can take him home" She probably realized she was being pretty insensitive because I got to see the doctor within the hour. 

They diagnosed my son with a blocked tear duct, and we were home by 2ish that afternoon. It was the worst trip ever! I hope it remains this way. 

To hear some vacation nightmares click HERE

Monday, November 19, 2012

Boys and Baby Dolls

Every time we pass by baby dolls Animal smiles and gets excited. He doesn't have siblings. And he doesn't have family or friends his age. And as I've mentioned he can be a little aggressive.

When I saw his interest in the baby dolls I thought to myself, awesome, we can use the baby to help Animal learn to be gentle.

So this weekend while the hubby and I were shopping we passed some baby dolls and Animal got excited. I picked up a doll and handed it to him. He touched it's face gently and I knew I had to buy it for him.

Hubby: Why are you letting him play with that.

Me: Because he wants a baby, so I'm going to buy it for him.

Hubby: He doesn't want that, he wants any toy you show him. (he picks up a wrestler plush toy and puts it side by side with baby) which toy do you like Animal?

Baby touch's them both. Looks back and forth for a minute or so. Then grabs the baby again.

Me: See he wants a baby. It's good for him, he needs to learn to be gentle.

Hubby: (not convinced) Well can you get the one in purple pajamas instead of pink?

Me: (rolling eyes) Sure. Here you go Animal, hold your baby.

Animal loves it, holds all the way to register.

When we get home I take tags off and wipe down before I let him play with his baby.

Hubby: Why is a baby good for a boy?

I'm a little annoyed this is still an issue for the hubs. He's not a sexist, and I know it's a baby doll, but come on. He doesn't think it's weird that our niece collects Hot Wheels.

Me: It's a teaching tool. He can learn how to treat others this way.

Hubby: Show me the studies that say that's true.

Me: Google it. Believe me, you'll find them.

Hubby: Ok, Ok. I'm sure your right.

Me: I am.

I remember that my niece has a stroller in her toy box at our place. I run to grab it and bring it back to the living room. The hubby takes Animal's baby and puts it in stroller. Animal is thrilled and starts walking around the room happily pushing his baby.

Hubby: (excited) Look he knew what to do!

Me: Of course, he's doing it just like daddy.

My husband sits back, smiling watching his son play daddy. Animal sits in front of stroller and starts to chatter away to his baby.

Hubby: Does his baby have a bottle? Maybe he wants to feed him?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Red Tent

Tonight I went with a friend to The Red Tent, if you have never been to such an event I suggest you Google and see if you are fortunate enough to live near one of these amazing events.

A woman I know, who hosts these transformational events had been inviting me for some time. I don't quite remember what it was that finally made me want to go, but I am forever grateful that I did. I invited a good friend and she too is glad she went, and continues to go whenever possible. In fact anyone who has ever accepted an invite to attend has never regretted coming.

The host closes every event by reading Imagine A Woman if you have never read this poem, click the link, read and then continue reading this post. Go ahead I'll wait....

Ok, isn't that awesome. Some of those things I already do, am. But some of those things I struggle with and some of those things I forget. Red Tent evenings give me a chance to connect with other women but more importantly to myself and to the human experience.

Tonight the topic was Gratitude and if you follow me you know I have spent this month participating in The Insomniacs Dream thankfulness challenge. But it was extra special to share with my good friend that I am grateful for her, and to witness other women's gratitude moments with their good friends, their support systems, and their role models. I have in my own gratitude posts shared some of the people I am grateful for, my hubby, my son, my mom, and the original ladies of Theme Thursdays,  but I realized tonight just how many other people I am grateful for. I am so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life, I bet you are too. This is an especially wonderful time to tell them. I don't mean the holiday season, I mean the present. There is never a better time than the present to tell our loved ones that we love them.

Thank you Red Tent.

30 Days of Thankfulness 3rd edition

As some of you now the talented writer at The Insomniacs Dream  put out a challenge to write and post daily about something different everyday that you are grateful for. I decided to join the fun and accept this challenge. I'm writing everyday and posting my week long journal each Friday this month.



I am oh so grateful for naptime.

Once upon a time. Naptimes were a rare occurrence in our home. Now thanks to Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child it is a rare occasion when a nap is missed. Sure this means our life's revolve around a nap schedule, but now mommy and daddy get a little break. And Animal gets much needed rest so that he is the cutest, happiest, most awesome little toddler instead of a red eyed terror that spends his day screaming, fussing and wearing mommy and daddy out long before bedtime. Thank you Dr. Weisbluth for writing your book. Thank you Amazon parents for taking the time to write reviews. Thank you HTC /Google Books/T Mobile for making it possible to get book immediately.


Today I am grateful to advise nurses. Without you I would have spent the morning trying to decide if I needed to take Animal to ER or if I could wait until tomorrow for doctors office to be open. I was pretty sure I could wait, but better safe than sorry...


Today I am grateful for health insurance. Every time I have to bring my son to the doctors office I am struck with this realization that a great deal of parents in this country have to consider whether they can afford to take their child to the doctor. Things are tight in my home, I can't always provide Animal with everything I want for him. But I am so, so fortunate that when he is ill, when he needs preventitive care, when I'm just not sure, I don't have to wonder what I will do. I just pick up there phone and call his doctors office. I wish I could make that a reality for every parent.


Today I am grateful for my mom. I am so lucky to have such a great mom. I didn't appreciate her when I was a kid. As an adult I'm glad we're friends. I'm so lucky that she can care for Animal while I am at work. I hate to be away from him, but I'm so lucky to have peace of mind knowing my heart is with her.


Today I am grateful for a fever free day! Yay!

Almost better. Less snot. Yay!

No medicine before bed. Yay!

No follow up visit to make sure it wasn't anything worse than a bad, bad cold. Yay!


Today I'm grateful for payday. Bills, Bills, Bills. Now I can pay them.


Today I'm so grateful for a healthy child. We were so lucky that everything went well all of my pregnancy. So blessed that there were no complications at birth. So incredibly fortunate that other than one frightening trip to the NICU (the most surreal, horrific hrs of our lifes) Animal has been healthy. He's had 2 bad colds, 1 little cold, and this last weekend's cold with a fever. I am so grateful and also feel pretty guilty. It's so unfair that some babies, some mommies, some families don't have it this easy. I am apparently in a Debbie Downer kind of mood. Sorry

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just One

If you could impress one lesson, ideal, or moral on your children, what would it be?
Just one? How can I possibly pick just one thing? I have been mulling it over all week. There are so many things I hope to teach my son...

In the end I decided that if I could choice only one thing to impress upon him, it would be this: THINK FOR YOURSELF!

It is so hard to think for yourself in this world. Every where you turn you are bombarded with messages.

Messages telling you how to feel about everything. 

Politics, religion, war, history, pop culture, music, art, other people that are not like you. Nothing is off the table, there is no area left unmarked by others opinions. If you can't think for your self, follow your own moral compass then are you even really living?

What you should want out of life and how you should live it. 

From what to wear, what to drive, what to want, to who to love.

We don't take these things  seriously enough, but they are a threat to our happiness. If you can't think for your self, follow your own dreams you'll always be searching to be filled by someone else's wants and desires, then you'll always be empty. 

We all make mistakes, and if your going to make mistakes, shouldn't they be your own? Not even our mistakes belong to us when we can't think for ourselves.

Want to know what one lesson, ideal or moral other bloggers want to impress on there offspring? Click  here or here